Access Rhythm
Record label: Warp (UK)
Format: 12"/CD5
Release date: 12 January 2004

Most of us were doin' a whole bunch of nothing in our teen years, but not Jimmy Edgar. Brother Jimmy was making music. In fact, he's probably spun with half of the most revered DJs from the Motor City. In addition to that, he's already recorded under different aliases for labels like Merck and Audio.nl. Did I mention he's barely out of his teens? His new Access Rhythm EP marks his debut for Warp Records, and if this is any indication of that a full-length will bring, then come on with it. While this release contains four tracks of pure hip-hop, Detroit beatdown style, its flirtations with soul and techno can't be denied. There's a sparse quality to the production that references the best of minimal techno as well as the Neptunes. "No Static" lays it out for you immediately. Then it gets rough and rugged with the killer beat on "Morris Nightgale Theme." Bright bursts of sparkling bells add a nice contrast to the rhythm. Things get quieter on "Urban Outtake" but no less aggressive. Listen for the flute sample as it snakes its way through tenement buildings and down city streets. The clear winner is "Re: City Alley," which represents a fluid morphing of hip-hop and techno, proving to anyone who listens how many similarities they share. Anything but straight four-on-the-floor, this track contains enough changes to keep even the most demanding listener interested. Access Rhythm is an outstanding effort - awaiting the full-length with bated breath.

{chloe knuckles}

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